Jon Niese missed extensive time last season due to a shoulder injury. Credit: Getty Images
The Mets are used to bad news, but they got a little bit of good news Thursday when an MRI on starter Jonathan Niese's shoulder came back showing no structural damage.
He has returned to Florida and will resume a throwing program. There is no timetable yet for when he will pitch in a spring game.
Niese, the presumed Opening Day starter, had returned to New York Wednesday for an MRI on his left throwing shoulder after telling the team he felt pain during a throwing session.
“I wanted to keep it quiet. It’s just a precautionary thing to make sure it’s not worse from last year,” Niese told ESPN. “I just want peace of mind.”
Niese, 27, missed almost two months last season with a partially torn rotator cuff. But he returned in August and pitched 10 times without issue to close out the season. He was 3-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 14 starts before the injury and 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 66 innings after the DL stint.
“Batting practice started and he felt fine,” manager Terry Collins told reporters in camp. “And then he threw his second 20 pitches the other day. He just said at the end of it, ‘Geez, my arm’s just dead. Like, it’s dead.’”
Niese was signed to a five-year, $25 million extension at the start of the 2012 season. The deal includes a team option for $10 million in 2017 and $11 million in 2018.
The Mets are already without Matt Harvey for the season after Tommy John surgery. Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler are pen- ciled into the rotation.
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